The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant award will enable Gaskiya Diagnostics to accelerate development of its low-cost, user-friendly, paper-based testing platform. The company’s adaptable technology is suited for the detection of a myriad of disease-causing agents, but this work focuses on infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNv), that impacts farm-raised rainbow trout. US-based trout aquaculture is a $229 million industry that loses roughly $30 million to disease each year.
“We put the power of diagnosis directly into the hands of rainbow trout farmers, allowing them to immediately make decisions about their crop and take action without the requirement of specialized equipment,” said Dr Mary Larkin, CEO of Gaskiya Diagnostics. “Ultimately, faster diagnosis leads to faster treatments, fewer losses and more quality food to meet global demand.”
Gaskiya Diagnostics’ grant-funded work aligns with NIFA’s priorities for its integrated aquatic animal health management strategy, which includes addressing aquaculture farmers’ need for on-site, cost-effective detection of disease in rainbow trout production facilities.
“This grant will accelerate development of our platform technology to facilitate the detection of a variety of aquaculture-related disease types,” said Larkin. “We’re grateful to the NIFA team for their support of our research and development work.”
Last year, Gaskiya Diagnostics, along with other aquaculture-focused startups, participated in the Hatch Blue 90-day accelerator programme. This is the world’s first accelerator programme focused on the aquaculture industry and works to find, develop and scale talented and disruptive aquaculture startups, such as Gaskiya Diagnostics.
The Health and Welfare of Atlantic Salmon course
It is vital that fish farm operatives who are responsible for farmed fish are trained in their health and
welfare. This will help to ensure that fish are free from disease and suffering whilst at the same time
promote good productivity and comply with legislation.